Why is it important to welcome children as well as adults on BTCS?
Quite simply because Jesus told his disciples, “to welcome a child is to welcome me!”.
It’s quite a mind blowing thought to consider that the way we welcome when we welcome children to our churches we are actually "welcoming Jesus." Why would we not want to do it! Children have a special place in God’s kingdom and we have a responsibility to recognise that and take special care of our welcome to them.
What if we don’t have any Sunday school provision at present?
This really shouldn’t be a problem or an excuse for not including children! Plan your service on BTCS to include all the ages. What will you do to create a sense of community, consider how to be multi sensory, Think about using a creative prayer idea. How could you tell the bible story in an interactive way? Consider ways to reach all the ages?
Why not let children and young people be involved in the planning of the service, give them specific roles perhaps welcoming at the door.
This year our resources are based around the Feeding of the five thousand. Take this as the theme for your service; consider holding a Bring and share lunch or a picnic (weather permitting!) for the whole church family, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other better.
It’s really important to encourage relationships. Children love to be included all we do - they want to belong and be active participants in our church communities. Not having a Sunday school really isn’t a valid reason for not including the children on Bach to Church Sunday.
What are your top 5 tips for a child friendly welcome?
Hard to limit it to five, but I feel these are key!
At your church door try to get down to the child’s eye level to say hello; don’t tower above them, and if you know their names use them!
Give children a hymn book or a service sheet it doesn’t matter if they can’t read, include them as you would adults.
Have someone perhaps your children’s leader who is willing to chat with families, welcome them and explain what the church can offer to children and their families.
If you have a crèche make sure toys are clean, well maintained and age appropriate.
Be genuine in your welcome! Most importantly introduce yourself, a warm welcome from the service leader or children’s group leader is key to them returning again!